Consumers flood cannabis dispensaries amid COVID-19 outbreak

Published Mar 25, 2020 11:00 a.m. ET
iStock / wjarek

People all over the world are freaking out over the rise and spread of the new COVID-19, a highly contagious disease that has spanned to all corners of the world in a matter of months with no end in sight. It’s a terrifying time, as the majority of us have never experienced a true disaster, and it can be difficult to imagine what the next few months will bring.

Unfortunately, we can’t tell you the answer to that, as no one knows anything yet for certain, but we can say what you’re likely to expect from your local dispensary and provide you with a few tips and tricks on what you as a consumer can do to protect yourself and everyone around you moving forward. We also want to assure you that waiting patiently at home will not leave you disappointed, despite the news covering lineups at dispensaries from consumers who are panic buying.

What’s going on right now

Cannabis enthusiasts all over the world are finding themselves in lockdown as governments work together in an attempt to slow the spread of this awful illness. Stores are closing their doors to the public, and officials are asking citizens to stock up on enough essentials to last a couple of weeks, just in case things need to escalate even further.

What to expect in the future

Many dispensaries are still open in both Canada and the United States, and they are reporting record levels of cannabis sales, which might initially sound like a good thing. Of course, it benefits the business, but in the end, the best thing for all of us right now is to keep away from big crowds, and a packed cannabis dispensary is no exception to that rule.

That is why some dispensaries have already opted to close their doors to the public, while many are still serving customers through other methods such as drive-through or delivery services. As time goes on, assuming things with this virus pick up in pace, it will become necessary to close down all dispensaries, but delivery is an excellent way for local businesses to stay alive while adhering to social distancing.

The best way to buy weed through a dispensary right now

Buying weed is a personal experience that each person will see a bit differently, but if you want to stay safe and get ahead of the game, then you are going to want to head over to Google and type in ‘marijuana dispensary near me’. What you’ll get is a helpful location-based list of every dispensary within a reasonable range from where you are right now, and from there, it’s pretty easy to go down the list and find one that delivers.

The thing is that while delivery certainly does cut down on your interaction with other people, it will not eliminate it entirely, so there are a few things that we highly suggest that you do to cut down the risk and keep yourself safe throughout this outbreak like:

1. Wear gloves

This idea is not a new one, as we tend to reach for a glove when we know we’ve got something gross to deal with and germs are really no different. Any kind of plastic glove will help to keep your hands clean during the interaction, especially if you are handling physical cash and coins.

2. Ask the courier to leave the package at the door

Sometimes the weed delivery guy wants to get chatty, and if that’s your thing, then you might not mind it, but if you want to be extra careful right now, then you always have the option of requesting a porch drop off. This way, the driver leaves the package in a mailbox or other safe places for you to retrieve when you're ready, and though some dispensaries don’t offer this, it can be a lifesaver by limiting person interactions.

3. Disinfect all products

The best thing about all of that terrible government-sanctioned plastic packaging is that it’s easy to wipe down and disinfect. All you need is a hardy disinfectant like alcohol, a mister bottle, and a rag, and you can be sure that your package is germ-free before you bring it inside to open and enjoy.

4. Wash your hands properly

We all like to think that people wash their hands, but the truth is that far too many don’t, but this is a necessary step if you want to avoid catching a virus or spreading germs. A bit of soap, some warm water, and a good 30-second scrub is more effective than hand sanitizer, and it helps to ensure that your health stays at its peak.

5. Try to not touch your face before following steps 1 through 4

Gloves are an excellent tool to protect you against harmful bacteria, germs, and this virus, but most people don’t realize that only works if they are used properly. Before you wash your hands, you need to be sure not to touch your face at all, as that is the way that this virus spreads through the mouth, eyes, or nose.

Whether or not you choose to take the extra precautions is entirely up to you, but no matter what you do, you can rest assured that the dispensaries aren’t going to be running out of good old buds any time soon. That is thanks to an internal supply system where the majority of dry product available for sale in each state or province is growth within its borders.

This closed-circuit system means that shipments will not be stopped, and dispensaries are not likely to experience shortages, as long we keep our buying patterns as close to normal as possible. So, when you are ready to make a purchase, but enough to keep you from needing more in a day or two, don’t go overboard, and there will consistently be ample cannabis to keep everybody high throughout this ordeal.

Cannabis events that are either canceled or postponed due to COVID19

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